Venezuela takes control of Crystallex project


From Reuters
Wednesday, November 5, 2008

CARACAS, Venezuela -- Venezuela will take over Canadian miner Crystallex's Las Cristinas gold project, one of Latin America's largest, the latest move by President Hugo Chavez to bring key industries into the hands of the state.

Venezuela's mining ministry said the government aimed to start up the mine next year.

"This mine will be recovered and will be operated under state administration," the ministry said in a statement.

Crystallex, which operates the project under a contract, has waited for years for permission to begin mining the Las Cristinas deposit, located in a huge forest reserve in southeastern Venezuela.

Socialist Chavez has nationalized large swaths of Venezuela's economy, including energy, telecoms, and steel companies.

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